The Democratic-run Congress is ignoring the public's concerns in the rush to pass legislation to overhaul the nation's healthcare system, Republicans say.
GOP claims Democratic-led Congress ignoring public's wishes on reform
"The American people expect us to get this right and to do it in an open, honest and bipartisan debate. That's what they deserve," said Sen. Johnny Isakson (D-Ga.), in his party's radio and Internet address Saturday. "But that's not what they're getting from the Democrats on Capitol Hill."
The Senate Finance Committee is the last of five committees to take up health care legislation, which tops President Barack Obama's domestic agenda. The committee chairman, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) negotiated with top Republicans for weeks before talks broke down. Baucus' bill leaves out a primary demand of many Democrats—a government insurance option—and it has a lower price tag than other Democratic proposals. But Isakson and other Republicans say it's still too costly and would require too much government intrusion into the health care system. Only one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, appears to be considering supporting it.
At its core, the bill is designed to expand health insurance coverage to millions of people who lack it, employing a new system of federal subsidies for lower-income individuals and families and establishing an insurance exchange in which coverage would have federally guaranteed benefits. Insurance companies would be prohibited from refusing to sell insurance based on a person's health history, and limits would be imposed on higher premiums based on age.
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